Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2011, Jaipur April 29, 2011

A cynical short run, and a rock moves

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in Jaipur

The end of the chant
The noise coming from the crowd in the first three overs of Mumbai Indian's innings would easily have confused someone about who the home team were. "Sachin, Sachiiiiiiiiin," was being sung in unison even though Tendulkar had only played one shot in anger at that stage. Most fans were anticipating the clash between Tendulkar and Shane Warne and just as their voices had warmed up, their vocal chords were snapped. Ashok Menaria, who had yet to claim a wicket in any Twenty20 match, tossed one up to Tendulkar, who charged down the pitch and was stumped. Silence.

The short run
Harbhajan Singh didn't trust Ali Murtaza to advance the Mumbai Indians score at all and wanted the strike in the final over, even though he was swinging and missing himself. One of his swipes ended up at deep square leg and Harbjahan clearly wanted two. When it looked like the double wasn't on, Harbhajan turned two-thirds of the way through the first run and returned to the striker's end to face the last two balls. There was nothing subtle about what Harbhajan was doing, the short-run was clear and he kept strike. He swung and missed at the next delivery but ended the innings with a six.

The glimmer of hope
With a strong bowing attack, Mumbai Indians may have thought they'd have some chance of defending their lowest ever IPL total. When Munaf Patel removed Rahul Dravid early the hope would have grown, but when their kingpin Lasith Malinga struck, it must have become a sizeable chunk of expectation. After bowling three yorkers, Malinga dropped one short and Shane Watson was trapped. He tried to hook but ended up edging to Davy Jacobs. It could have been the start of a remarkable comeback but it was too little, too late.

The man who could not be dismissed
Johan Botha has become an unlikely batting sensation in the tournament, coming in at No. 3 for Rajasthan, and had not been dismissed in four innings. He was the anchor of the Rajasthan innings in this match and had seen them through the onslaught from Lasith Malinga, and Ali Murtaza's left-arm web. His boundary off Malinga in the 17th over took Rajasthan to within five runs of victory. Then, the rock moved. He tried to play a good length ball from Munaf Patel past point but missed completely and was bowled.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Whom are we fooling? 'Walking' is the exception, not the rule. Fielders claiming catches they have not taken. Appeals to intimidate the umpires, etc.,etc. Why don't we wake up to the fact that, there is a set of rules and the umpires are there to enforce them. Although I would like to go back to the past, the gentleman's game is dead and buried. Let's be realistic and accept the fact that everyone should play by the rules or face the consequences. Therefore I see nothing wrong with Bhaji's gimmick.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    @ vswami - Bhajji might have gud thinking. But thats not SPORTSMANSHIP buddy. I wonder how they gave ONE RUN for that stupid running. ICC miust look into ONE SHORT rule

  • aabir on April 30, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    ongratulation for Bajji ...........good thinking

  • aziz on April 29, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    If the umpire had applied the law correctly (Law 18), no runs should have been allowed on that delivery.

    "if either umpire considers that either or both batsmen deliberately run short at his end, the following procedure shall be adopted.

    (iii) Whether a batsman is dismissed or not, the umpire at the bowler's end shall disallow all runs to the batting side from that delivery other than the penalty runs"

  • Swami on April 29, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I have often wondered why batsmen didnt do what Bhajji did more often. Full marks for thinking on his feet and executing it.

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